Good afternoon Friday folks! Are you still with us? …or has work left you feeling drained and ready to quit for the weekend already? Let us provide you with a rather glamorous little pick-me-up if that might be the case. Anna and Dennis tied the knot on 15 June last year with a beautiful wedding reception at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park – their day was a classic and elegant affair, with just the right amount of glamour by way of Anna's beautiful Pronovias gown. I love the neutral shades of this celebration, those men in their tux's and Anna's glorious hair! So lovely to see a bride wearing her natural waves down this way.
"As we had chosen to get married near where I had grown up in Putney, London, and were having our reception at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond park, we wanted to keep a quintessential English theme, keeping things classic and elegant, but with a modern twist to reflect us; we used lots of roses, had an afternoon tea and string quartet play during our drinks reception and dinner, but rather than classical they played lots of popular music of past and present. We also really wanted to use local suppliers as much as we could."
Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Jason Mark Harris
"Dennis and I met at secondary school and started dating in the last year of sixth form. We got engaged on the 25th November 2012 just over six and a half years after we first started dating. We spent most of our relationship apart, for university and then work, and had talked about getting married for a long time, so when we got engaged we decided to have a short engagement of just over 6 months.
Dennis proposed to me exactly a month before Christmas on the ice rink at Somerset House, he had taken me ice skating for our first date."
“My bridesmaids wore gowns from Maids to Measure in Antique Rose. Maids to measure was definitely a find, and as they are based in Fulham and make bridesmaids dresses to measure. I felt very strongly that I wanted all of my bridesmaids to feel and look amazing on the day and wear a dress that flattered there figure, so I let them choose the style of dress they wanted and we had them all made in the antique rose satin and chiffon.
When I was looking at ideas for colours of bridesmaid dresses I loved the softness of neutrals. I don’t tend to go for colour that much in my everyday life but did feel pressure to pick a colour. I am glad that I chose the neutral in the end as it was perfect and I loved it, it was a colour that suited everyone as well."
"The bridesmaids got a lot of compliments on the day especially because they all had an individual dress. Maids to measure had so many beautiful dresses that it was hard to decide on just one anyway!
My bridesmaids wore their own nude heels for four adult bridesmaids and nude ballet pumps for the two junior bridesmaids. As I had chosen for the bridesmaids to wear long dresses, I wanted them to all wear shoes that they were comfortable in for the day. I also wanted the bridesmaids to look individual as well as a group so I let them have their own styling with their hair and accessories. Wearing their own silver jewellery added to this.”
"My dress was the Pronovias Benicarlo. I purchased it from The Wedding Dress Shop on Arthur Road in Wimbledon. When I first started trying on dresses I fell in love with tulle and the princess style almost immediately, I knew they were the kind of dresses Dennis liked and were what sprung to mind when I pictured my wedding dress. However after trying on a few of these they all started to look a bit samey, and I felt some of them weren’t that flattering as they didn’t show off that much of my figure, although they were all beautiful dresses! I fell in love with the bodice on this dress as soon as I put it on.
The slight dropped waist on the dress showed off more of my figure and I was amazed at how light it was for a ‘big dress’, so could see myself wearing it all day. The most important thing was that when I tried it on with the veil I could picture myself walking down the aisle in it and I hadn’t felt that way about any of the others that I had tried on before.”
"Apart from my beautiful cathedral length veil that I purchased from The Wedding Dress Shop, I didn't wear any other accessories – I wore my hair down and kept my overall styling quite simple."
“I think it is important to add that I did have a panic about the dress I had chosen almost immediately after I had paid the deposit for it. It is a huge decision and I felt a lot of pressure about whether I had chosen the right one and whether it was going to live up to people’s expectations. It’s also hard because you try on a dress most of the time that is not the right size for you and then you pay a large deposit for it before you have even seen your dress; and unlike a normal clothes shopping experience you can’t take it home with you once you’ve bought it to reassure yourself, and you can’t return it.
I loved my dress though, and I have come to realise that your initial feeling is normally right, I really wouldn’t have wanted to wear any other dress on my wedding day."
"Apart from my beautiful cathedral length veil that I purchased from The Wedding Dress Shop, I didn't wear any other accessories – I wore my hair down and kept my overall styling quite simple.
Dennis wanted all of his groomsmen (best man and ushers) to wear the same suit as him, which I wasn’t sure about at first, but it looked great. The only difference was that he opted for a pair of navy suede shoes with black trim and the others wore black shoes.”
“One of my friends did our flowers for us, and I really enjoyed being able to go to the flower market with her a pick the flowers that I wanted to use. We chose white peonies for my bouquet as I felt the textures really complimented my dress, again I chose to keep the bouquet simple, and retain an all white theme. The men all had a simple white rose which looked great with their suits. As the groomsmen were wearing the same suit as Dennis it made sense for them to have the same button holes as well, and my dad’s was the same as well, which looked lovely as he walked me down the aisle. I wanted the bridesmaids to have a bit more colour in their flowers but wanted a bit more of a relaxed feel I found some beautiful blush peonies at the flower market and we combined them with a slightly stronger pink to compliment the dresses.
The flowers for the centre pieces were a combination of pale pinks and peaches and white peonies and roses.”
“When it came to wedding favours, I was inspired by a pretty box I saw on Pinterest, and so we made them all from scratch. We covered small favour boxes in brown paper, which we found at hobby craft and then finished off with lace and then a peach satin ribbon. We filled them with chocolates for guests to have with their coffee or on the way home.”
“Our photographer was Jason Mark Harris. We absolutely love our wedding photos and would definitely recommend allocating a healthy amount of your budget to get the best photographer you can afford. The day goes so quickly that it is something very special to have beautiful pictures that you can look back on to remember it all. I think it is one of the most important things to consider when budgeting as the photographs of your day are the memories that will stay with you for the rest of your lives."
"Jason Mark Harris is not only an incredibly talented photographer, but also has a very calming and relaxing personality, and his experience is second to none. I had full faith that he would get the photographs that we wanted on the day and they more than exceeded our expectations.
So many of the pictures that we love I didn’t even realise he was taking, he felt more like one of the family than the photographer, and he captured so many beautiful moments so naturally, his pictures really tell the story of our day perfectly.”
“My sister Catherine Momcilovic is a textiles surface designer and designed our invitations and orders of service for us. I told her some of my ideas and she came up with a design that was perfect. The invites were laser cut, and she adapted this design for our order of service sheets which she screen printed. They were beautiful, and I love the fact that they were made especially for us.”
“My regular hair dresser did my hair on the day as I trust her completely and knew she would do it how I wanted her to. She also did my mum’s hair and my sisters up do's. I also hired make-up Artist Julia Wren."
"We used my Grandpa’s vintage cars for our wedding cars, and Austin 6 and Austin 10. He drove me and my dad to the church in the morning, and Dennis and I to the reception which made it even more special.”
"My dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away. The moment just before we walked into the church was very special as it was just us two as the bridesmaids had gone in before us. We entered the ceremony room to the sound of 'Our Song', by Ellie Goulding."
"Dennis and I chose to use the traditional vows. We had a short introduction beforehand which explained what marriage is and it was nice to hear this before we said our vows. We also had two readings – the first one was from 1 John and explained what we believe love is and where it comes from, and the second one was a reading that my parents had at their wedding 30 years ago from Ecclesiastes, both of them were read by friends. We also had a C.S.Lewis quote about love incorporated into the talk.”
“Our rings were from Bedazzled in Hatton Gardens. We spent a day before we got engaged looking at engagement rings for fun and so that we could get an idea of what we liked. We were told that Hatton Gardens was the place to go in London to buy an engagement ring and we found a lovely family run business there where we later purchased our wedding rings from as well. Dennis then chose my engagement ring and had it made and proposed with it.
It is an oval diamond with a halo of diamonds around it and then the diamonds are set half way down the band. I chose a simple wedding band which they made to match my engagement ring with the diamonds half way round the ring. They are a perfect set and I love how delicate and classic they are. Dennis’s ring is a flat band with a matt centre and a grove round the edges. He wanted something that was slightly different to the traditional wedding band, but not too fussy.”
"Brian at Liquid Strings was a pleasure to work with from start to finish and I can’t recommend him highly enough. He has a fantastic selection of artists on his books at very competitive prices. I would have definitely booked more entertainment from him if I had the budget. I fell in love with the idea of having a string quartet as soon as I started looking into entertainment and they certainly didn’t disappoint!
I was able to choose the repertoire that they played, so we had older classics like ‘Moon River’ and ‘Anything Goes’ for the drinks receptions and then more modern songs for dinner such as ‘Paradise’ Coldplay and Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ which worked perfectly. Having a string quartet really added to the atmosphere at the reception and kept the guests entertained during the drinks reception. A lot of the guests commented on how much they enjoyed listening to them."
“Apart from walking down the aisle at the church and saying our wedding vows the part of the day I enjoyed the most was the speeches. They were amazing speeches but I think as well because it was the one thing I hadn’t planned I could just sit back and take everything in. I loved listening to my two favourite men speaking (my dad and Dennis) and Dennis’s brothers best man speech was the perfect mix of funny and moving, by the end of it I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
Dennis’s favourite part of the day was the time that we spent together taking our pictures alone with our photographer. It was a nice time for us to both catch up and fill each other in on what had happened in the morning before the church, and share getting ready stories as we hadn’t had a chance to do that before hand."
“It was very important to us that we served good food and lots of it at our wedding. One of the things that we liked about Pembroke Lodge was that they did their own catering and we knew it would be great. At the tasting we were blown away by the quality of their food and the generous portions. I think it does save a lot of time to find a venue that does their catering in house, as long as it is delicious!
Dennis is a big fan of chocolate cake so we chose to serve our wedding cake for desert. Because of this we thought it really important that it was really tasty and not too sweet. Our cake designer was Cakes for Fun. We opted for white chocolate cigarillos instead of the more traditional white icing, and had the bottom layer made in chocolate and the top two tiers in lemon so that the guests had a choice. It was made with open tiers and our florist decorated it with beautiful big antique pink coloured roses."
"Avenue Sound were the perfect entertainment for the party and kept our guests up dancing all evening. They also played the song we had chosen for our first dance, we really enjoyed dancing to a live version of it.
Our first dance was to ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ Frank Sinatra. We liked the feel and the meaning behind this song. Our band played it for us so it was nice to dance to a live version of it.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“I would definitely have spent less time worrying, and have trusted my ideas more. I second guessed my decisions a lot, but in the end I was so happy with all the decisions I made! There were also a few little details that I ran out of time for. I was talking to someone recently who said they allocated a day a week to doing all the little details for their wedding and they did it every week without fail. I think that is a great idea and very manageable. I also think I would find out how much everything costs at the beginning (including all the little details) rather than as you go along, it’s easier said than done because I didn’t know anything about weddings really before I started and wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, but it helps you to decide where you are going to spend money and where you’re not, so that you don’t run out of money for things you want to do later on. Having said that really I wouldn’t have changed anything, because our day was perfect!"
“It can be surprisingly stressful, it is a once in a lifetime event and understandably you want it to be perfect. Enjoy and embrace the wedding experience as well as looking forward to the big day, the day goes so quickly, and a lot of great memories are made in the lead up, take lots of pictures so you can look back and remember the planning stages too, they are some of the best bits.
Don’t worry so much about other people this is a day to celebrate your love for each other, everyone has a different idea about what a wedding is make sure you stay true to yourselves and what you want, although people have opinions, nothing is wrong because it’s your day. Once you have come up with some ideas, find out how much everything is going to cost asap, and work out how much your budget is."
This will help you to make decisions about what you are going to spend money on and what you are not, and will avoid disappointments later on. Make sure you factor in all the little details you want as well as these quickly add up and you don’t want to run out of money later. Get the right people around you, who will support your ideas and help you to make them happen without taking over. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family, everyone is busy but most people will jump at the chance to get involved and help you out.
It’s very easy to get caught up in all the planning, remember what it’s all about and that the marriage is the important bit! Most importantly enjoy it, because it will be over before you know it and you’ll want to do it all again!”
What a beautiful wedding, so chic and glamorous! Huge congratulations to you both Anna and Dennis – half way already to your first engagement, which we hope is a really beautiful occasion for you both.
Photographer – Jason Mark Harris
Venue – Pembroke Lodge in Richmond park
Wedding Dress – Pronovias Benicarlo via The Wedding Dress Shop
Veil/Headpiece – The Wedding Dress Shop
Brides' shoes – Carvella Amelia Court Shoe in Pink
Grooms Suit – Austin Reed navy blue tux + Kurt Geiger shoes
Bridesmaids Dresses – Maids to Measure
Flowergirl Dress – Monsoon Children Estella Dress and jacket with white ballet shoes
Page boy outfit - Monsoon Children Black Tux and black shoes
Flowers – A friend
Cake – Cakes for Fun
Transport – The brides Grandad's vintage car
Entertainment – Liquid Strings (string quartet) + Avenue Sound (band)
Rings – Bedazzled in Hatton Gardens
Catering Company – Pembroke Lodge
Stationery – Catherine Momcilovic
Makeup Artist – Julia Wren
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